CASTING FOR NEW 'SUPERMAN' FILM STALLED
It appears several actors who have been approached to be the new Superman don't want to be typecast, as was Christopher Reeve. The New York Post says casting problems have caused tempers to flare in the ranks of the bigwigs trying to get the project off the ground. In what could become a trilogy of new-generation Superman films, director Brett Ratner and producer Jon Peters already have let their differences of opinion spill over into heated parking lot discussions at Warner Bros. in recent weeks. The publication says Josh Hartnett doesn't want the leading role and Jude Law and Ashton Kutcher also have declined. Considered still in the running are Brendan Fraser, Paul Walker, Hayden Christenen and soap star Matthew Bomer. There are some indications Justin Timberlake will be the new Jimmy Olsen. Just imagine what the special effects will like, considering the recent strides in digitilization.
PATSY'S FINAL DAYS REMEMBERED
A biography of Patsy Cline paints a sad picture of a woman who just wanted to get home to see her kids and died trying. In "Honky Tonk Angel: The Intimate Story of Patsy Cline," biographer Ellis Nassour talks about her career, her meteoric rise to stardom and her attempts to be a good mom in spite of the demands of handlers and agents. CMT says the new book is a great compilation of stories about the singer and goes into detail about her final days. Among the first to find her crashed plane, by the way, was singer-songwriter Roger Miller. He told reporters the engine was buried in a crater, suggesting the plane went nose-first into the ground at high speed. Cline had gone to Kansas City to perform in a benefit to help raise money for the surviving family of a popular disk jockey who had been killed in a car wreck. Adding Cline to the bill was a late decision made after it was learned ticket sales were not going well. Cline accepted the invitation, thinking she could fly to Kansas City and get back quickly to be with her kids. On the way back home her light plane crashed in the rain near Camden, Tenn. That was March 5, 1963, 40 years ago this month.
CONLON TAPES 'LOST' HOLOCAUST MUSIC
The latest project for American conductor James Conlon has taken him to Cologne in Germany for a major, bittersweet recording session. The project was the taping of the music of Viktor Ullmann for Capriccio Records. Conlon says the album is part of a "major commitment" to increasing awareness of the music of composers, such as Ullmann, who were silenced by the Holocaust." The CD is being released in conjunction with Conlon's series of three concerts that collectively are titled "Recovering a Musical Heritage: Viktor Ullmann." Although an opera by Ullmann, "The Emperor of Atlantis," is a fairly well known work and is seeing more performances but Ullmann's symphonic music was all but lost. Persecuted by the Nazis, he eventually was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp where he was killed in 1944, just two days after arriving there. His friends kept his music alive and, with the help of Conlon, it is seeing a major revival.
FANS REVEL IN ARNOLD MEMENTOS
Nearly 10,000 pieces of memorabilia are now in the Country Music Hall of Fame, being enjoyed by fans of their donor, Eddie Arnold. Last week Arnold made the presentation to the hall in ceremonies attended by some of the major names in country music. Brenda Lee, the Jordanaires' Gordon Stoker and Ray Walker, Jim Ed Brown and the mayor of Nashville were on hand. Arnold, all but unknown to today's generation of music fans, was one of the original cross-over mega-star artists in country music. He soared to the top of both the country and pop charts with a slew of million-selling songs. Known initially as "The Tennessee Ploughboy," Arnold parlayed a keen knowledge of music and a unique, rich singing style into one of the most in-demand acts in the music business. He told the crowd he is now 84 and wants to make sure his "stuff" is in good hands. Among the items that will be available for display are more than 5,000 recorded radio shows, 2,000 photographs, 2,000 reels of Arnold's syndicated TV show and some 32 file cabinets full of clippings.
VET USES INTERNET TO FIND COMRADES
A South Florida Vietnam veteran has used the powers of the Internet to find surviving buddies of a long-forgotten raid. The Miami Herald says Dan Houmes, now a Fort Lauderdale marriage and family counselor, decided to try to find his comrades who survived an attack when they stumbled upon an enemy encampment. Houmes was a member of Company B, First Battalion, Eighth Cavalry, First Cavalry Division in Vietnam. After months of searching he managed to locate 20, after more than 33 years. His search was complicated by the fact he knew some of his buddies only by nicknames or church affiliations or hometowns. Many were in Miami over the weekend for a reunion. Houmes says no formal program was planned -- just being with the guys again was enough to satisfy him. By the way, unlike some vets who have a hard time talking about their time in Vietnam, Houmes is quick to tell the story. He noted for the paper his year in Southeast Asia was "365 days of fear interrupted by moments of stark terror."
'HELLFIRE AND DAMNATION' EDWARDS LIVES
A new book looks at a man who often is called "America's first superstar preacher," the flamboyant Jonathan Edwards. It was Edwards' preaching that ignited a period in American religion often called "The Great Awakening." The Christian Science Monitor says the life of Edwards -- who lived to be 98 and died in 1801 -- has been profiled in a new book by George Marsden. In it the author looks at the way Edwards nearly single-handedly changed the face of American Protestant preaching during the 1700s, the Colonial Period. His most famous sermon was called "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." The Marsden book is being described as a "densely documented narrative that is both vivid and absorbing." In his later years, the once loudly vocal Edwards accepted the staid presidency of Princeton University. Marsden is a professor at Notre Dame. His book is called "Jonathan Edwards: A Life."
UPI DAILY SURVEY QUESTION NO. 541
This week we begin a series of questions drawn from our earliest efforts. All week we will pair personalities and ask you who you would rather sit beside during a week-long, cross-country bus trip. So, today: "Who would you prefer to sit with, Judge Judy or Oprah Winfrey?" Put BUS1 in the subject line and send to firstname.lastname@example.org via the Internet.
RESULTS OF QUESTION NO. 536 (AFRTS)
Last week we celebrated the birthday of the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service and asked your memories of its programs. Here, from our usual random dip into the e-mail inbox, are a few replies: Because this question applied to only people who served in uniform overseas the answers were limited.
BobBell said while stationed in Frankfurt he listened to AFRTS all the time. He said he's a real sports fan and appreciated the baseball games, even though many came to him at the wrong time of day. LindaDR is a native of Indiana and says she loved listening to the Indianapolis 500 race while stationed in Japan. Finally, AlanBen says he would have been horribly lonely overseas were it not for American programs brought to him by the service and the attitude of the local disk jockeys. TOMORROW: How bad is your memory? Or can you remember? GBA